Biuro Szyfrów

Biuro Szyfrów

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The Biuro Szyfrów (ˈbʲurɔ ˈʂɨfruf, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 for "Cipher Bureau") was the interwar Polish General Staff's agency charged with both cryptography
Cryptography
Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties...

 (the use of cipher
Cipher
In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts...

s and code
Code
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another form or representation , not necessarily of the same type....

s) and cryptology (the study of ciphers and codes, particularly for the purpose of "breaking" them).

The precursor of the agency that would become the Cipher Bureau was created in May 1919, during the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

 (1919–21), and played a vital role in securing Poland's survival in that war.

In mid-1931, the Cipher Bureau was formed by the merger of pre-existing agencies. In December 1932, the Bureau began breaking Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

's Enigma
Enigma machine
An Enigma machine is any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I...

 cipher
Cipher
In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts...

s. Over the next seven years, Polish cryptologists overcame the growing structural and operating complexities of the plugboard
Plugboard
A plugboard, or control panel , is an array of jacks, or hubs, into which patch cords can be inserted to complete an electrical circuit. Control panels were used to direct the operation of some unit record equipment...

-equipped Enigma. The Bureau also broke Soviet cryptography.

Five weeks before the outbreak of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, on 25 July 1939, in Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, the Polish Cipher Bureau revealed its Enigma-decryption techniques and equipment to representatives of French and British military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

, which had been unable to make any headway against Enigma. This Polish intelligence-and-technology transfer would give the Allies an unprecedented advantage (Ultra
Ultra
Ultra was the designation adopted by British military intelligence in June 1941 for wartime signals intelligence obtained by "breaking" high-level encrypted enemy radio and teleprinter communications at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. "Ultra" eventually became the standard...

) in their ultimately victorious prosecution of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

Precursor




On 8 May 1919, a Polish Army "Cipher Section" (Sekcja Szyfrów), precursor to the "Cipher Bureau" (Biuro Szyfrów), was created by Lt. Józef Serafin Stanslicki. The Cipher Section reported to the Polish General Staff and contributed substantially to Poland's defense by Józef Piłsudski's forces during the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

 of 1919–21, thereby helping preserve Poland's independence, recently regained in the wake of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. The Cipher Section's purview included both cipher
Cipher
In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts...

s and code
Code (cryptography)
In cryptography, a code is a method used to transform a message into an obscured form, preventing those who do not possess special information, or key, required to apply the transform from understanding what is actually transmitted. The usual method is to use a codebook with a list of common...

s. In loose Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

 parlance, the term "cipher" ("szyfr") refers to both these two principal categories of cryptography
Cryptography
Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties...

. (The opposite is the practice in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, which loosely refers to both code
Code
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another form or representation , not necessarily of the same type....

s and cipher
Cipher
In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts...

s as "codes.")

During the Polish–Soviet War (1919–1921), some one hundred Russian ciphers were broken by a sizable cadre of Polish cryptologists who included Army Lt. Jan Kowalewski
Jan Kowalewski
Lt. Col. Jan Kowalewski was a Polish cryptologist, intelligence officer, engineer, journalist, military commander, and creator and first head of the Polish Cipher Bureau...

 and three world-famous professors of mathematics — Stefan Mazurkiewicz
Stefan Mazurkiewicz
Stefan Mazurkiewicz was a Polish mathematician who worked in mathematical analysis, topology, and probability. He was a student of Wacław Sierpiński and a member of the Polish Academy of Learning...

, Wacław Sierpiński and Stanisław Leśniewski. Russian army staffs were still following the same disastrously ill-disciplined signals-security procedures as had Tsarist army staffs during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, to the decisive advantage of their German enemy. As a result, during the Polish-Soviet War the Polish military were regularly kept informed by Russian signals stations about the movements of Russian armies and their intentions and operational orders.

The Russian staffs, according to Polish Colonel Mieczysław Ścieżyński, "had not the slightest hesitation about sending any and all messages of an operational nature by means of radiotelegraphy; there were periods during the war when, for purposes of operational communications and for purposes of command by higher staffs, no other means of communication whatever were used, messages being transmitted either entirely ("in clear," or plaintext
Plaintext
In cryptography, plaintext is information a sender wishes to transmit to a receiver. Cleartext is often used as a synonym. Before the computer era, plaintext most commonly meant message text in the language of the communicating parties....

) or encrypted by means of such an incredibly uncomplicated system that for our trained specialists reading the messages was child's play. The same held for the chitchat of personnel at radiotelegraphic stations, where discipline was disastrously lax."

In the crucial month of August 1920 alone, Polish cryptologists decrypted 410 signals: from Soviet General Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Mikhail Tukhachevsky
Mikhail Nikolayevich Tukhachevsky was a Marshal of the Soviet Union, commander in chief of the Red Army , and one of the most prominent victims of Joseph Stalin's Great Purge.-Early life:...

, commander of the northern front; from Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, Soviet commissar of war; from commanders of armies, e.g. the commander of the IV Army, Sergieyev; the commander of the Horse Army, Semyon Budionny; the commander of the 3 Cavalry Corps, Gaya; from the staffs of the XII, XV and XVI Armies; from the staffs of the Mozyr Group (named after the Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

sian city); the Zolochiv
Zolochiv
Zolochiv is a town located in the Lviv Oblast of western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Zolochiv Raion ....

 Group (after the Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 town); the Yakir Group [after General Iona Emmanuilovich Yakir]; from the 2, 4, 7, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18, 24, 27, 41, 44, 45, 53, 54, 58 and 60 Infantry Divisions; from the 8 Cavalry Division, etc.

The intercepts were as a rule decrypted the same day, or at latest the next day, and were immediately sent to the Polish General Staff
General Staff
A military staff, often referred to as General Staff, Army Staff, Navy Staff or Air Staff within the individual services, is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units...

's Section II (Intelligence) and operational section. The more important signals were read in their entirety by the Chief of the General Staff, and even by the Commander in Chief, Marshal Józef Piłsudski. Interception and reading of the signals provided Polish intelligence with entire Russian operational orders. The Poles were able to follow the whole operation of Budionny's Horse Army in the second half of August 1920 with incredible precision, just by monitoring his radiotelegraphic correspondence with Tukhachevsky, including the famous and historic conflict between the two Russian commanders.

The intercepts even included an order from Trotsky to the revolutionary council of war of the Western Front, confirming Tukhachevsky's operational orders, thus giving them the authority of the supreme chief of the Soviet armed forces. An entire operational order from Tukhachevsky to Budionny was intercepted on 19 August and read on 20 August, stating the tasks of all of Tukhachevsky's armies, of which only the essence had previously been known.

Ścieżyński surmises that the Soviets must likewise have intercepted Polish operational signals; but he doubts that this would have availed them much since Polish cryptography "stood abreast of modern cryptography" and since only a small number of Polish higher headquarters were equipped with radio station
Radio station
Radio broadcasting is a one-way wireless transmission over radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both...

s, of which there was a great shortage; and finally, Polish headquarters were more cautious than the Russians and almost every Polish division
Division (military)
A division is a large military unit or formation usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. In most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, and in turn several divisions typically make up a corps...

 had the use of a land line.

Polish cryptologists enjoyed generous support under the command of Col. Tadeusz Schaetzel
Tadeusz Schaetzel
Tadeusz Schaetzel was a Polish Army colonel, intelligence officer, Promethean leader, diplomat and politician.-Career:During World War I, Schaetzel served in the Polish Legions and as deputy director of the Chief Command of the 3rd Polish Military Organization , in Kiev.After Poland had regained...

, chief of the Polish General Staff's Section II (Intelligence)
History of Polish Intelligence Services
This article covers the history of Polish intelligence services dating back to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.-Commonwealth:Though the first official Polish government service entrusted with espionage, intelligence and counter-intelligence was not formed until 1918, Poland and later the...

. They worked at Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

's radio station WAR, one of two Polish long-range radio transmitters at the time. The Polish cryptologists' work led, among many other things, to discovery of a large gap on the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

's left flank, which enabled Poland's Marshal Józef Piłsudski to drive a war-winning wedge into that gap during the August 1920 Battle of Warsaw
Battle of Warsaw (1920)
The Battle of Warsaw sometimes referred to as the Miracle at the Vistula, was the decisive battle of the Polish–Soviet War. That war began soon after the end of World War I in 1918 and lasted until the Treaty of Riga resulted in the end of the hostilities between Poland and Russia in 1921.The...

.

Grzegorz Nowik states that the discovery of the Cipher Bureau's archives, decades after the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

, has demonstrated

Cipher Bureau


In mid-1931, at the Polish General Staff
General Staff
A military staff, often referred to as General Staff, Army Staff, Navy Staff or Air Staff within the individual services, is a group of officers and enlisted personnel that provides a bi-directional flow of information between a commanding officer and subordinate military units...

, a Cipher Bureau was formed by merging the Radio-Intelligence Office (Referat Radiowywiadu) and the Polish-Cryptography Office (Referat Szyfrów Własnych). The Bureau was charged with both cryptography
Cryptography
Cryptography is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties...

 — the generation, and supervision of the use, of cipher
Cipher
In cryptography, a cipher is an algorithm for performing encryption or decryption — a series of well-defined steps that can be followed as a procedure. An alternative, less common term is encipherment. In non-technical usage, a “cipher” is the same thing as a “code”; however, the concepts...

s and code
Code
A code is a rule for converting a piece of information into another form or representation , not necessarily of the same type....

s — and cryptology, the study of ciphers and codes, particularly for the purpose of "breaking" them.

Between 1932 and 1936, the Cipher Bureau took on additional responsibilities, including radio communications between military-intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 posts in Poland and abroad, as well as radio counterintelligence — mobile direction-finding
Direction finding
Direction finding refers to the establishment of the direction from which a received signal was transmitted. This can refer to radio or other forms of wireless communication...

 and intercept stations for the locating and traffic-analysis
Traffic analysis
Traffic analysis is the process of intercepting and examining messages in order to deduce information from patterns in communication. It can be performed even when the messages are encrypted and cannot be decrypted. In general, the greater the number of messages observed, or even intercepted and...

 of spy
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 and fifth-column
Fifth column
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within.-Origin:The term originated with a 1936 radio address by Emilio Mola, a Nationalist General during the 1936–39 Spanish Civil War...

 transmitters operating in Poland.

Stalking Enigma




In late 1927 or early 1928, there arrived at the Warsaw Customs Office from Germany a package that, according to the accompanying declaration, was supposed to contain radio equipment. The German firm's representative strenuously demanded that the package be returned to Germany even before going through customs, as it had been shipped with other equipment by mistake. His insistent demands alerted the customs officials, who notified the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau, which took a keen interest in new developments in radio technology. And since it happened to be a Saturday afternoon, the Bureau's experts had ample time to look into the matter. They carefully opened the box and found that it did not, in fact, contain radio equipment but a cipher machine. They examined the machine minutely, then put it back into the box.

The Bureau's leading Enigma cryptanalyst Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski
Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

 commented that the cipher machine may be surmised to have been a commercial-model Enigma, since at that time the military model had not yet been devised. "Hence this trivial episode was of no practical importance, though it does fix the date at which the Cipher Bureau's interest in the Enigma machine began" manifested, initially, in the entirely legal acquisition of a single commercial-model Enigma.
On 15 July 1928 the first German machine-enciphered messages were broadcast by German military radio stations. Polish monitoring stations began intercepting them, and cryptologists in the Polish Cipher Bureau's German section were instructed to try to read them. The effort was fruitless, however, and was eventually abandoned. There remained very slight evidence of the effort, in the form of a few densely written-over sheets of paper and the commercial-model Enigma machine.
On 15 January 1929 Major Gwido Langer
Gwido Langer
Lt. Col. Karol Gwido Langer was chief of the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau from at least mid-1931.-Life:...

, after a tour of duty as chief of staff of the 1st Legion Infantry Division
Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division
Polish 1st Legions Infantry Division was a tactical unit of the Polish Army between the World Wars. Formed on February 20, 1919, partially of veterans of the I Brigade of the Polish Legions, the unit saw extensive action during the Polish-Bolshevik War and World War II.As one of the most...

, became chief of the Radio-Intelligence Office, and subsequently of the Cipher Bureau. The Bureau's deputy chief, and the chief of its German section (BS-4), was Captain Maksymilian Ciężki
Maksymilian Ciezki
Maksymilian Ciężki was the head of the German section of the Polish Cipher Bureau in the 1930s, during which time the Bureau decrypted German Enigma messages....

.

In 1929, while the Cipher Bureau's predecessor agency was still headed by Major Franciszek Pokorny (a relative of the outstanding World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 Austro-Hungarian Army
Austro-Hungarian Army
The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. It was composed of three parts: the joint army , the Austrian Landwehr , and the Hungarian Honvédség .In the wake of fighting between the...

 cryptologist, Captain Herman Pokorny), Ciężki, Franciszek Pokorny and a civilian Bureau employee, Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth , was a civilian employee in the German section of the Polish General Staff's interbellum Cipher Bureau.-Life:...

, taught a secret cryptology course at Poznań University for selected mathematics students. Over ten years later, during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 while in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, one of the students, Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski
Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

, would discover that the entire course had been taught from French General Marcel Givièrge's book, Cours de cryptographie (Course of Cryptography), published in 1925.

In September 1932, Maksymilian Ciężki hired three young graduates of the Poznań course to be Bureau staff members: Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski
Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

, Jerzy Różycki
Jerzy Rózycki
Jerzy Witold Różycki was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who worked at breaking German Enigma-machine ciphers.-Life:Różycki was born in what is now Ukraine, the fourth and youngest child of Zygmunt Różycki, a pharmacist and graduate of Saint Petersburg University, and Wanda, née Benita. ...

 and Henryk Zygalski
Henryk Zygalski
Henryk Zygalski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who worked at breaking German Enigma ciphers before and during World War II.-Life:...

.

Successes and setbacks


In 1926 the German Navy adopted, as its top cryptographic device, a modified civilian Enigma machine
Enigma machine
An Enigma machine is any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I...

; in 1928 the German Army followed suit. The complexity of the system was much increased in 1930 by the introduction of a plugboard (Steckerbrett), albeit with only six connecting leads in use. In December 1932, Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski
Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

 made what historian David Kahn describes as one of the greatest advances in cryptologic history, by applying pure mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

the theory of permutations and groups
Permutation group
In mathematics, a permutation group is a group G whose elements are permutations of a given set M, and whose group operation is the composition of permutations in G ; the relationship is often written as...

to breaking the German armed forces'
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 Enigma machine ciphers. Rejewski had worked out the precise interconnections of the Enigma rotors and reflector, after the Bureau had received, from French Military Intelligence Captain Gustave Bertrand
Gustave Bertrand
Gustave Bertrand was a French military intelligence officer who made a vital contribution to the decryption, by Poland's Cipher Bureau, of German Enigma ciphers, beginning in December 1932...

, two German documents and two pages of Enigma daily keys (for September and October of that year). These had been obtained by a French military intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

 agent, a German codenamed Rex, from an agent who worked at Germany's Cipher Office in Berlin, Hans Thilo-Schmidt, whom the French codenamed Asché.
After Rejewski had worked out the military Enigma's logical structure, the Polish Cipher Bureau commissioned the AVA Radio Company
AVA Radio Company
The AVA Radio Company was a Polish electronics firm founded in 1929 in Warsaw, Poland. AVA designed and built radio equipment for the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau, which was responsible for the radio communications of the General Staff's Oddział II .After the Cipher Bureau's...

, co-owned by Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth , was a civilian employee in the German section of the Polish General Staff's interbellum Cipher Bureau.-Life:...

, to build replicas ("doubles") of the Enigma to Rejewski's specifications. His method of decrypting Enigma messages exploited two weaknesses of the German operating procedures. It used what Rejewski called "characteristics" that were independent of the plugboard connections. This involved compiling a card catalog
Card catalog (cryptology)
The card catalog, or "catalog of characteristics," in cryptography, was a system designed by Polish Cipher Bureau mathematician-cryptologist Marian Rejewski, and first completed about 1935 or 1936, to facilitate decrypting German Enigma ciphers.-History:...

 of certain features of the set of indicator settings.

The Germans increased the difficulty of decrypting Enigma messages by decreasing the interval between changes in the order of the rotors from quarterly, initially, to monthly in February 1936, then daily in October of that year, when they also increased the number of plugboard leads from six to a number that varied between five and eight. This made the Biuro's grill method
Grill (cryptology)
The grill , in cryptology, was a method used chiefly early on, before the advent of the cyclometer, by the mathematician-cryptologists of the Polish Cipher Bureau in decrypting German Enigma-machine ciphers.-Method:...

 much less easy, as it relied on unsteckered letter pairs. The German navy was more security-conscious than the army and air force, and in May 1937 it introduced a new, much more secure, indicator procedure that remained unbroken for several years.

The next setback occurred in November 1937, when the scrambler's reflector was changed to one with different interconnections (known as Umkehrwalze-B). Its wiring was quickly worked out by Rejewski, but the catalog of characteristics had to be re-compiled. To do this, Rejewski devised the "cyclometer
Cyclometer
The cyclometer was a cryptologic device designed, "probably in 1934 or 1935," by Marian Rejewski of the Polish Cipher Bureau's German section to facilitate decryption of German Enigma ciphertext.-History:...

"—built by the AVA Radio Company—which worked somewhat like a car odometer
Odometer
An odometer or odograph is an instrument that indicates distance traveled by a vehicle, such as a bicycle or automobile. The device may be electronic, mechanical, or a combination of the two. The word derives from the Greek words hodós and métron...

.

In January 1938, Colonel Stefan Mayer
Stefan Mayer
Colonel Stefan A. Mayer was a Polish military intelligence officer and prewar chief of the Intelligence Department within the Polish General Staff's Section II...

 directed that statistics be compiled for a two-week period, comparing the numbers of Enigma messages solved, to Enigma intercepts. The ratio came to 75 percent. "Nor," Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski
Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

 has commented, "were those 75 percent ... the limit of our possibilities. With slightly augmented personnel, we might have attained about 90 percent ... read. But a certain amount of cipher material ... due to faulty transmission or ... reception, or to various other causes, always remains unread ..." Information obtained from Enigma decryption seems to have been directed from B.S.-4 principally to the German Office of the General Staff's Section II (Intelligence). There, from fall 1935 to mid-April 1939, it was worked up by Major Jan Leśniak
Jan Lesniak
Jan Leśniak was a Polish military intelligence officer in the Interbellum and World War II.-Career:Leśniak was from fall 1935 deputy director of the Polish General Staff's German Office and for a year, from April 1938, its director....

, who in April 1939 would turn the German Office over to another officer and himself form a Situation Office intended for wartime service. He would head the Situation Office to and through the September 1939 Campaign
Invasion of Poland (1939)
The Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign or 1939 Defensive War in Poland and the Poland Campaign in Germany, was an invasion of Poland by Germany, the Soviet Union, and a small Slovak contingent that marked the start of World War II in Europe...

.
The system of pre-defining the indicator setting for the day for all Enigma operators on a given network, on which the method of characteristics depended, was changed on 15 September 1938. The one exception to this was the network used by the Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst , full title Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, or SD, was the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. The organization was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the...

(SD)—the intelligence agency of the SS
Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

 and the Nazi Party—who did not make the change until 1 July 1939. Operators now chose their own indicator setting. However, the insecure procedure of sending the enciphered message key twice, remained in use, and it was quickly exploited. Henryk Zygalski devised a manual method that used 26 perforated sheets, and Marian Rejewski commissioned the AVA company to produce the bomba kryptologiczna
Bomba (cryptography)
The bomba, or bomba kryptologiczna was a special-purpose machine designed about October 1938 by Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologist Marian Rejewski to break German Enigma-machine ciphers....

 (cryptologic bomb).

Both the Zygalski-sheet method and each bomba worked for only a single scrambler rotor order, so six sets of Zygalski sheets and six bomby were produced. However, the Germans introduced two new rotors on 15 December 1938, giving a choice of three out of five to assemble in the machines on a given day. This increased the number of possible rotor orders from 6 to 60. The Biuro could then only read the small minority of messages that used neither of the two new rotors. They did not have the resources to produce 54 more bomby or 54 sets of Zygakski sheets. Fortunately, however, the fact that the SD network was still using the old method of the same indicator setting for all messages, allowed Rejewski to re-use his previous method of working out the wiring within these rotors. This information was essential for the production of a full set Zygalski sheets which allowed resumption of large-scale decryption in January 1940. On 1 January 1939, the Germans made military Enigma even more difficult to break by increasing the number of plugboard connections from between five and eight, to between seven and ten.

When World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 broke out on 1 September 1939, Leśniak and his colleagues had been working intensively for two or three years to establish the German order of battle
Order of battle
In modern use, the order of battle is the identification, command structure, strength, and disposition of personnel, equipment, and units of an armed force participating in field operations. Various abbreviations are in use, including OOB, O/B, or OB, while ORBAT remains the most common in the...

 and had succeeded in working out nearly 95 percent of it. The German attack on Poland came as no surprise to the Polish General Staff. The results that had been obtained by Polish intelligence, according to Leśniak, "absolutely exceeded what would normally have been possible."

Kabaty Woods



Until 1937 the Cipher Bureau's German section, BS-4, had been housed in the Polish General Staff building — the stately 18th-century "Saxon Palace" — in Warsaw. That year BS-4 moved into specially constructed new facilities in the Kabaty Woods
Kabaty
Kabaty is the southernmost neighborhood of the city of Warsaw, located in its Ursynów district. Until the late 1980s it was a small village located south of Warsaw, between Warsaw and the Kabaty Woods...

 near Pyry
Pyry
Pyry is one of the southernmost neighborhoods of the city of Warsaw. Administratively part of the Ursynów district, it was originally a separate village located along ulica Puławska , which links downtown Warsaw with the town of Piaseczno...

, south of Warsaw. There, working conditions were incomparably better than in the cramped quarters at the General Staff building.

The move was dictated as well by requirements of security. Germany's Abwehr
Abwehr
The Abwehr was a German military intelligence organisation from 1921 to 1944. The term Abwehr was used as a concession to Allied demands that Germany's post-World War I intelligence activities be for "defensive" purposes only...

was always looking for potential traitors among the military and civilian workers at the General Staff building. Strolling agents, even if lacking access to the Staff building, could observe personnel entering and leaving, and photograph them with concealed miniature cameras. Annual Abwehr intelligence assignments for German agents in Warsaw placed a priority on securing informants at the Polish General Staff.

Gift to allies


It was at Pyry, on 25 and 26 July 1939 with war looming that, on instructions from the Polish General Staff, the Cipher Bureau's chiefs, Lt. Col. Gwido Langer
Gwido Langer
Lt. Col. Karol Gwido Langer was chief of the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau from at least mid-1931.-Life:...

 and Major Maksymilian Ciężki
Maksymilian Ciezki
Maksymilian Ciężki was the head of the German section of the Polish Cipher Bureau in the 1930s, during which time the Bureau decrypted German Enigma messages....

, the three civilian mathematician-cryptologists, and Col. Stefan Mayer
Stefan Mayer
Colonel Stefan A. Mayer was a Polish military intelligence officer and prewar chief of the Intelligence Department within the Polish General Staff's Section II...

, chief of intelligence
Military intelligence
Military intelligence is a military discipline that exploits a number of information collection and analysis approaches to provide guidance and direction to commanders in support of their decisions....

, revealed Poland's achievements to cryptanalytical representatives of France and Britain, explaining how they had broken Enigma. They undertook to give each country a Polish-reconstructed Enigma, along with details of their equipment, including Zygalski sheets and Rejewski's cryptologic bomb
Bomba (cryptography)
The bomba, or bomba kryptologiczna was a special-purpose machine designed about October 1938 by Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologist Marian Rejewski to break German Enigma-machine ciphers....

. In return, the British pledged to prepare two full sets of Zygalski sheets for all 60 possible wheel orders. The French contingent consisted of Major Gustave Bertrand
Gustave Bertrand
Gustave Bertrand was a French military intelligence officer who made a vital contribution to the decryption, by Poland's Cipher Bureau, of German Enigma ciphers, beginning in December 1932...

, the French radio-intelligence and cryptology chief, and Capt. Henri Braquenié
Henri Braquenié
Henri Braquenié was an interbellum and World War II French Air Force officer and cryptanalyst.Captain Braquenié attended, with French Major Gustave Bertrand and another French Army officer, the January 9-10, 1939, Paris meeting of French, Polish and British military intelligence officers convened...

 of the French Air Force staff. The British sent Commander Alastair Denniston
Alastair Denniston
Commander Alexander Guthrie Denniston CMG CBE RNVR was a British codebreaker in Room 40 and first head of the Government Code and Cypher School and field hockey player...

, head of Britain's Government Code and Cypher School, Dilly Knox
Dilly Knox
Alfred Dillwyn 'Dilly' Knox CMG was a classics scholar at King's College, Cambridge, and a British codebreaker...

, chief British cryptanalyst and Commander Humphrey Sandwith, head of the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's intercept and direction-finding
Direction finding
Direction finding refers to the establishment of the direction from which a received signal was transmitted. This can refer to radio or other forms of wireless communication...

 stations.

When Rejewski had been working on reconstructing the German military Enigma machine in late 1932, he had ultimately solved a crucial element, the wiring of the letters of the alphabet into the entry drum, with the inspired guess that they might be wired in simple alphabetical order. Now, at the trilateral meeting Rejewski was later to recount "the first question that ... Dillwyn Knox asked was: 'What are the connections in the entry drum? Knox was mortified to learn how simple the answer was.

The Poles' gift, to their western Allies, of Enigma decryption, five weeks before the outbreak of World War II, came not a moment too soon. Former Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park is an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire, England, which currently houses the National Museum of Computing...

 mathematician-cryptologist Gordon Welchman
Gordon Welchman
Gordon Welchman was a British-American mathematician, university professor, World War II codebreaker at Bletchley Park, and author.-Education and early career:...

 has written: "Ultra
Ultra
Ultra was the designation adopted by British military intelligence in June 1941 for wartime signals intelligence obtained by "breaking" high-level encrypted enemy radio and teleprinter communications at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. "Ultra" eventually became the standard...

 [Allied high-grade signals intelligence] would never have gotten off the ground if we had not learned from the Poles, in the nick of time, the details both of the German military ... Enigma machine
Enigma machine
An Enigma machine is any of a family of related electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used for the encryption and decryption of secret messages. Enigma was invented by German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I...

, and of the operating procedures that were in use." After the war, Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 was to tell King George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

: "It was thanks to Ultra that we won the war." Allied Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

, at war's end, described intelligence from Bletchley Park as having been "of priceless value to me. It has simplified my task as a commander enormously." Eisenhower expressed his thanks for this "decisive contribution to the Allied war effort."

Churchill's greatest wartime fear, even after Hitler had suspended Operation Sea Lion and invaded the Soviet Union
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, was that the German submarine wolfpacks would succeed in strangling sea-locked Britain. A major factor that averted Britain's defeat in the Battle of the Atlantic was her regained mastery of Naval Enigma decryption; and while the latter benefited crucially from British seizure of German Enigma-equipped naval vessels, the breaking of German naval signals ultimately relied on techniques that had been pioneered by the Polish Cipher Bureau. Had Britain capitulated to Hitler, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 would have been deprived of an essential forward base for its subsequent involvement in the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

n theaters.

A week after the Pyry meeting, Dillwyn Knox, in a letter dated 1 August 1939, thanked the Poles, in Polish, "for your cooperation and patience." He enclosed little paper batons and a scarf picturing a Derby horse race
Derby (horse race)
A derby is a type of horse race, named after the Derby Stakes, still run at Epsom Downs Racecourse in England. That was in turn named for Edward Smith-Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby, who inaugurated the race in 1780...

evidently emblematic of the cryptological race that Knox had hoped to win using the batons, and whose loss he was gallantly acknowledging.

On 5 September 1939, as it became clear that Poland was unlikely to halt the ongoing German invasion, BS-4 received orders to destroy part of its files and evacuate essential personnel.

Bureau abroad



During the German invasion of Poland in September 1939, key Cipher Bureau personnel were evacuated southeast and—after the Soviets invaded eastern Poland on 17 September—into Romania, on the way destroying their cryptological equipment and documentation. Eventually, crossing Yugoslavia and still-neutral Italy, they reached France. Some personnel of the Cipher Bureau's German section who had worked with Enigma, and most of the workers at the AVA Radio Company that had built Enigma doubles and cryptologic equipment for the German section, remained in Poland. Some were interrogated by the Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

, but no one gave away the secret of Polish mastery of Enigma decryption.

At PC Bruno
PC Bruno
PC Bruno was a Polish-French intelligence station that operated outside Paris during World War II, from October 1939 until June 9, 1940. It decrypted German ciphers, most notably messages enciphered on the Enigma machine.-History:...

, outside Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, on 20 October 1939 the Poles resumed work on German Enigma ciphers in close collaboration with Britain's Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park is an estate located in the town of Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire, England, which currently houses the National Museum of Computing...

.

In the interest of security, the allied cryptological services, before sending their messages over a teleprinter
Teleprinter
A teleprinter is a electromechanical typewriter that can be used to communicate typed messages from point to point and point to multipoint over a variety of communication channels that range from a simple electrical connection, such as a pair of wires, to the use of radio and microwave as the...

 line, encrypted them using Enigma doubles. Henri Braquenié
Henri Braquenié
Henri Braquenié was an interbellum and World War II French Air Force officer and cryptanalyst.Captain Braquenié attended, with French Major Gustave Bertrand and another French Army officer, the January 9-10, 1939, Paris meeting of French, Polish and British military intelligence officers convened...

 often closed messages with an ironic "Heil Hitler!"

As late as December 1939, when Lt. Col. Gwido Langer
Gwido Langer
Lt. Col. Karol Gwido Langer was chief of the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau from at least mid-1931.-Life:...

, accompanied by Captain Braquenié
Henri Braquenié
Henri Braquenié was an interbellum and World War II French Air Force officer and cryptanalyst.Captain Braquenié attended, with French Major Gustave Bertrand and another French Army officer, the January 9-10, 1939, Paris meeting of French, Polish and British military intelligence officers convened...

, visited London and Bletchley Park, the British asked that the Polish cryptologists be turned over to them. Langer, however, took the position that the Polish team must remain where the Polish Armed Forces
Polish Armed Forces
Siły Zbrojne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej are the national defense forces of Poland...

 were being formed on French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 soil. The mathematicians might actually have reached Britain much earlier and much more comfortably than they eventually did; but in September 1939, when they went to the British embassy in Bucharest
Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

, Romania, they were brushed off by a preoccupied British diplomat.

In January 1940, the British cryptanalyst Alan Turing
Alan Turing
Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS , was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalisation of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a...

 spent several days at PC Bruno conferring with his Polish colleagues. He had brought the Poles a full set of Zygalski sheets that had been produced at Bletchley Park by John Jeffreys using Polish-supplied information. On 17 January 1940, the Poles made the first break into wartime Enigma traffic—that from 28 October 1939.

During this period, until the collapse of France in June 1940, ultimately 83 percent of the Enigma keys that were found, were solved at Bletchley Park, the remaining 17 percent at PC Bruno. Rejewski commented:

The inter-Allied cryptologic collaboration prevented duplication of effort and facilitated discoveries. Before fighting had started in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 in April 1940, the Polish-French team solved an uncommonly hard three-letter code
Code (cryptography)
In cryptography, a code is a method used to transform a message into an obscured form, preventing those who do not possess special information, or key, required to apply the transform from understanding what is actually transmitted. The usual method is to use a codebook with a list of common...

 used by the Germans to communicate with fighter and bomber squadrons and for exchange of meteorological data between aircraft and land. The code had first appeared in December 1939, but the Polish cryptologists had been too preoccupied with Enigma to give the code much attention. With the German assault on the west impending, however, the breaking of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

code took on mounting urgency. The trail of the elusive code (whose system of letters changed every 24 hours) led back to Enigma. The first clue came from the British, who had noticed that the code's letters did not change randomly. If A changed to P, then elsewhere P was replaced by A. The British made no further headway, but the Poles realized that what was manifesting was Enigma's exclusivity principle that they had discovered in 1932. The Germans' carelessness meant that now the Poles, having after midnight solved Enigma's daily setting, could with no further effort also read the Luftwaffe signals.

The Germans, just before opening their 10 May 1940 offensive in the west that would trample Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 in order to reach the borders of France, once again changed their procedure for enciphering message keys, rendering the Zygalski sheets "completely useless" and temporarily defeating the joint British-Polish cryptologic attacks on Enigma. According to Gustave Bertrand
Gustave Bertrand
Gustave Bertrand was a French military intelligence officer who made a vital contribution to the decryption, by Poland's Cipher Bureau, of German Enigma ciphers, beginning in December 1932...

, "It took superhuman day-and-night effort to overcome this new difficulty: on May 20, decryption resumed."

Following the capitulation of France in June 1940, the Poles were evacuated to Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

. On October 1, 1940, they resumed work at "Cadix
Cadix
Cadix was the codename of a World War II clandestine Polish-French intelligence center that operated at Uzès, on the Mediterranean coast in southern, Vichy France, for over two years from September 1940 to November 9, 1942.-History:...

", near Uzès
Uzès
Uzès is a commune in the Gard department in southern France.It lies about 25 km north-northeast of Nîmes.-History:Originally Ucetia, Uzès was a small Gallo-Roman oppidum, or administrative settlement. The town lies at the source of the Eure, from where a Roman aqueduct was built in the first...

 in unoccupied southern, Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

, under the sponsorship of Gustave Bertrand.

A little over two years later, on 8 November 1942, Bertrand learned from the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 that the Allies had landed in French North Africa ("Operation Torch
Operation Torch
Operation Torch was the British-American invasion of French North Africa in World War II during the North African Campaign, started on 8 November 1942....

"). Knowing that in such an eventuality the Germans planned to occupy Vichy France
Vichy France
Vichy France, Vichy Regime, or Vichy Government, are common terms used to describe the government of France that collaborated with the Axis powers from July 1940 to August 1944. This government succeeded the Third Republic and preceded the Provisional Government of the French Republic...

, on 9 November he evacuated Cadix
Cadix
Cadix was the codename of a World War II clandestine Polish-French intelligence center that operated at Uzès, on the Mediterranean coast in southern, Vichy France, for over two years from September 1940 to November 9, 1942.-History:...

. Two days later, on 11 November, the Germans indeed marched into southern France. On the morning of 12 November they occupied Cadix.

Over the two years since its establishment in October 1940, Cadix
Cadix
Cadix was the codename of a World War II clandestine Polish-French intelligence center that operated at Uzès, on the Mediterranean coast in southern, Vichy France, for over two years from September 1940 to November 9, 1942.-History:...

 had decrypted thousands of Wehrmacht
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

, SS and Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 messages, originating not only from French territory but from across Europe, which provided invaluable intelligence to Allied commands and resistance movement
Resistance during World War II
Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation, disinformation and propaganda to hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns...

s. Cadix had also decrypted thousands of Soviet messages.

Having departed Cadix, the Polish personnel evaded the occupying Italian security police and German Gestapo
Gestapo
The Gestapo was the official secret police of Nazi Germany. Beginning on 20 April 1934, it was under the administration of the SS leader Heinrich Himmler in his position as Chief of German Police...

 and sought to escape France via Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. Jerzy Różycki
Jerzy Rózycki
Jerzy Witold Różycki was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who worked at breaking German Enigma-machine ciphers.-Life:Różycki was born in what is now Ukraine, the fourth and youngest child of Zygmunt Różycki, a pharmacist and graduate of Saint Petersburg University, and Wanda, née Benita. ...

, Jan Graliński
Jan Gralinski
Jan Józef Graliński was chief of the Polish General Staff's interbellum Cipher Bureau's Russian section, B.S.-3....

 and Piotr Smoleński
Piotr Smolenski
Piotr Smoleński was a cryptologist in the Russian section of the interbellum Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau.He perished in the sinking of the passenger ship Lamoricière in the Mediterranean Sea....

 had died in the January 1942 sinking, in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, of a French passenger ship, the Lamoricière, in which they had been returning to southern France from a tour of duty in Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

.

Marian Rejewski
Marian Rejewski
Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

 and Henryk Zygalski
Henryk Zygalski
Henryk Zygalski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who worked at breaking German Enigma ciphers before and during World War II.-Life:...

 hiked over the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 with a guide (who robbed them at gunpoint) to the Spanish border, where they were arrested on January 30, 1943. They were incarcerated by the Spaniards for three months before being released, upon Red Cross intervention, on 4 May 1943. They then managed, by a circuitous land–sea–air route, to join the Polish Armed Forces
Polish Armed Forces
Siły Zbrojne Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej are the national defense forces of Poland...

 in Britain, Rejewski and Zygalski were inducted into the Polish Army as privates (they would eventually be promoted to lieutenant) and put to work breaking German SS and SD
Sicherheitsdienst
Sicherheitsdienst , full title Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, or SD, was the intelligence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party in Nazi Germany. The organization was the first Nazi Party intelligence organization to be established and was often considered a "sister organization" with the...

hand ciphers at a Polish signals facility in Boxmoor
Boxmoor
Boxmoor, or Boxmoor Village, is a district of Dacorum in Hertfordshire, England. It is now part of Hemel Hempstead. It is a district of mainly nineteenth century housing and meadowland, repeatedly cut through by transport links from London to the The Midlands....

. Because of their having been in occupied France, the British considered it too risky to invite them to work at Bletchley Park.

Finally, with the end of the two mathematicians' cryptologic work at the close of World War II, the Cipher Bureau ceased to exist. From nearly its inception in 1931 until war's end in 1945, the Bureau, sometimes incorporated into aggregates under cryptonyms (PC Bruno and Cadix), had been essentially the same agency, with most of the same core personnel, carrying out much the same tasks; now it was extinguished. Neither Rejewski nor Zygalski would work again as cryptologists. In late 1946 Rejewski returned to his family in a devastated and politically altered Poland, to live there another 33 years until his death in February 1980. Zygalski would remain in England until his death in August 1978.

Secret preserved


Despite their travail
Travail
Travail was a Christian nu metal / rapcore band based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas. Fronted by Matt Leslie, it had an intense following at Club 412, a local church-sponsored lounge and music venue located in southwest Fort Worth. Stylistic comparisons were often drawn between their sound...

s, Rejewski and Zygalski had fared better than some of their colleagues. Cadix's Polish military chiefs, Langer
Gwido Langer
Lt. Col. Karol Gwido Langer was chief of the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau from at least mid-1931.-Life:...

 and Ciężki
Maksymilian Ciezki
Maksymilian Ciężki was the head of the German section of the Polish Cipher Bureau in the 1930s, during which time the Bureau decrypted German Enigma messages....

, had also been captured by the Germans, as they tried to escape from France into Spain on the night of March 10–11, 1943 along with three other Poles: Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth , was a civilian employee in the German section of the Polish General Staff's interbellum Cipher Bureau.-Life:...

, Edward Fokczyński
Edward Fokczyński
Edward Fokczyński was one of the four directors of the AVA Radio Company, an electronics firm established in Warsaw, Poland, in 1929. AVA produced radio equipment for the Polish General Staff's Cipher Bureau, which was responsible for the radio communications of the General Staff's Intelligence...

 and Kazimierz Gaca. The first two became prisoners of war; the other three were sent as slave laborers to Germany, where Palluth and Fokczyński perished. Despite the varyingly dire circumstances in which they were held, none of them Stefan Mayer
Stefan Mayer
Colonel Stefan A. Mayer was a Polish military intelligence officer and prewar chief of the Intelligence Department within the Polish General Staff's Section II...

 emphasizes betrayed the secret of Enigma's decryption, thus making it possible for the Allies to continue exploiting this vital intelligence resource.

Before the war, Palluth
Antoni Palluth
Antoni Palluth , was a civilian employee in the German section of the Polish General Staff's interbellum Cipher Bureau.-Life:...

, a lecturer in the 1929 secret Poznań University cryptology course, had been co-owner of AVA, which produced equipment for the Cipher Bureau, and knew many details of the decryption technology. In Warsaw, under German occupation, other Cipher Bureau workers were interrogated by German intelligence commissions, and some AVA workers were approached by German agents, but all kept silent about compromises to Engima.

In popular culture


In 1967 the Polish military historian Władysław Kozaczuk, in his book Bitwa o tajemnice (The Struggle for Secrets), first revealed that the German Enigma had been broken by Polish cryptologists before World War II. Kozaczuk's disclosure came seven years before F.W. Winterbotham's The Ultra Secret (1974) changed conventional views of the history of the war.

The 1979 Polish film Sekret Enigmy (The Enigma Secret) http://imdb.com/title/tt0079878/ is a generally fair, if superficial, account of the Cipher Bureau's story. Twenty-two years later, the 2001 Hollywood film Enigma
Enigma (2001 film)
Enigma is a 2001 British film about the Enigma codebreakers of Bletchley Park in World War II. The film, directed by Michael Apted, stars Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet. The film's screenplay was by Tom Stoppard, based on the novel Enigma by Robert Harris...

 was criticized for its many historical inaccuracies, including omission of Poland's fundamental work in Enigma decryption.

See also

  • Ultra
    Ultra
    Ultra was the designation adopted by British military intelligence in June 1941 for wartime signals intelligence obtained by "breaking" high-level encrypted enemy radio and teleprinter communications at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park. "Ultra" eventually became the standard...

  • Marian Rejewski
    Marian Rejewski
    Marian Adam Rejewski was a Polish mathematician and cryptologist who in 1932 solved the plugboard-equipped Enigma machine, the main cipher device used by Germany...

  • Tadeusz Pełczyński
  • Polish School of Mathematics
    Polish School of Mathematics
    The Polish School of Mathematics refers to the mathematics community that flourished in Poland in the 20th century, particularly during the Interbellum between World Wars I and II.- Overview :The Polish School of Mathematics subsumed:...

  • History of Polish Intelligence Services
  • Wilfred Dunderdale
    Wilfred Dunderdale
    Wilfred Albert Dunderdale was a British spy and intelligence officer. It has been suggested that Dunderdale was used by Ian Fleming as a basis for the character of James Bond.-Life:...


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